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Owen J. Roberts Wildcats Wrestling District 1
Pioneer Athletic Conference

Boyertown opens PAC-10 season by mauling OJR

by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor

Posted on December 21, 2006

BOYERTOWN -- Steve DeRafelo didn't have it on his Christmas wish list, but he sure would have liked to have seen Boyertown wobbling with a little Beast of the East hangover Wednesday night.

Well, Santa didn't deliver.

The Bears did, though.

Showing they are every bit the Pioneer Athletic Conference contender most felt they would be this season, the Bears rung up seven pins and a major decision while accepting two forfeits to deny DeRafelo his holiday hopes and defeat his Owen J. Roberts hopefuls, 58-12.

After the hosts started with two pins to grab a 12-0 lead, the Wildcats came back with three very workmanlike decisions -- identical 4-0 shutouts by Jeremy Stierly and Nick Fuschino sandwiched around Connor McCormick's 3-2 sudden victory decision at 140 -- to get within 12-9. But except for Will Bentley's 6-1 decision in the next-to-last bout of the evening, those was OJR's lone hurrahs.

In other words, the Bears weren't licking any physical or mental wounds from their grueling weekend at the Beast of the East in Delaware.

"I don't think there was (any hangover)," said 160-pound Dave Jones, a seventh-place medalist at the Beast who needed 65 seconds to post one of Boyertown's seven pins Wednesday night. "We have three captains (himself, Jamie Soupik and Jesse DeWan) who share the leadership role ..we're not going to let that happen.

"We knew what we had to do here. We're definitely still focused on our goals, on our team goals. We look up on that board and see how far we are from getting them, and what we have to work on to get them."

The first goal, of course, was getting the opener out of the way. They did, and rather impressively.

"I didn't think we had (a hangover)," added head coach Pete Ventresca. "We had a good couple of days of practice Monday and Tuesday. The kids wrestled well tonight. I thought they were pretty prepared."

Asher Hyatt made sure they got off on the right foot, too, starting the affair with a 1:17 pin at 125 pounds. Trevor MacMinn followed with a pin of his own at 130 before OJR strung together the three consecutive decisions. But after that, there were five more pins -- Brian Rakowski (152), Jones, DeWan (189), Mike Holloway (285) and Matt Malfaro (103) -- the major by Cory Brogan (171), and a forfeit to Anthony Fioriglio (215). Suddenly it was 52-9.

And when Bentley ended the flurry with his decision at 112, the Bears' Alex Pellicciotti ended the evening by taking the second and final forfeit at 119.

"That's just a great team," DeRafelo said, nodding toward the Boyertown entourage. "It's tough enough going up against them as it is, but when you have two district qualifiers out of the lineup (Derek Eckhart and Ryan Menkins sidelined by injuries)..You just can't expect to do much in that situation.

"(Boyertown) came ready to battle. I was hoping they would be a little beat up from the weekend. But they're tough kids, they're athletes. They can handle that (Beast)."

Ventresca, as well as Jones, hope they can handle even more of a holiday grind -- the Governor Mifflin Tournament, specifically. Then there is the Cedar Cliff Duals, another PAC-10 date with Pottsgrove, and the Cumberland Valley Duals. And shortly after turning the calendar, there's that showdown with Upper Perkiomen.

"We're just looking at it one match at a time, one tournament at a time, whatever it is," Jones said. "We'd like to look forward, but we can only take what is up next."

NOTES

Wednesday night's match opened the 21st season of PAC-10 wrestling. ..DeWan was honored prior to the match for pinning down his 100th career win earlier this season. ..Sitting in on the match -- from opposite sides of the mat -- were Bloomsburg University teammates Robert Hoffman and Mike Spaid, former rivals when they wrestled for Owen J. Roberts and Boyertown, respectively.

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